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Applied Soil Ecology
Vol. 93, 2015, Pages: 56–64

Effect of DNA extraction procedure, repeated extraction and ethidium monoazide (EMA)/propidium monoazide (PMA) treatment on overall DNA yield and impact on microbial fingerprints for bacteria, fungi and archaea in a reference soil

Andreas O. Wagner, Nadine Praeg, Christoph Reitschuler, Paul Illmer

Institute of Microbiology, University of Innsbruck, Technikerstr. 25, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.


Different DNA extraction protocols were evaluated on a reference soil. A wide difference was found in the total extractable DNA as derived from different extraction protocols. Concerning the DNA yield phenol–chloroform–isomyl alcohol extraction resulted in high DNA yield but also in a remarkable co-extraction of contaminants making PCR from undiluted DNA extracts impossible. By comparison of two different extraction kits, the Macherey&Nagel SoilExtract II kit resulted in the highest DNA yields when buffer SL1 and the enhancer solution were applied. The enhancer solution not only significantly increased the DNA yield but also the amount of co-extracted contaminates, whereas additional disintegration strategies did not. Although a three times repeated DNA extraction increased the total amount of extracted DNA, microbial fingerprints were merely affected. However, with the 5th extraction this changed. A reduction of total DGGE band numbers was observed for archaea and fungi, whereas for bacteria the diversity increased. The application of ethidium monoazide (EMA) or propidium monoazide (PMA) treatment aiming on the selective removal of soil DNA derived from cells lacking cell wall integrity resulted in a significant reduction of total extracted DNA, however, the hypothesized effect on microbial fingerprints failed to appear indicating the need for further investigations.

Keywords: DNA-extraction; Repeated extraction; Ethidium monoazide (EMA); Propidium monoazide (PMA); Diversity.

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